``data released in the past few days suggests that China may have closed the gold gap, inching ahead of India in terms of overall gold demand in 2011... Chinese gold imports from Hong Kong -- which in past years have accounted for about half of the country's total imports -- have soared to unprecedented levels... Now for the caveats. Most importantly, some analysts are sceptical of the Chinese import data. Perhaps the gold is being re-exported (illegally) to Vietnam, they say, perhaps it is the Chinese central bank buying, or perhaps the data are just wrong.''

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